J. Cole to headline Welcome Week concert

Hip hop artist to play at John Paul Jones Aug. 20


J. Cole also previously headlined the University's Springfest concert in 2011.

Hip hop artist J. Cole will headline the Welcome Week concert at John Paul Jones Arena on August 20.

Fourth-year College student and UPC Chair Erica Joy Oliverio said it will be a thrill to feature J. Cole.

“J. Cole is the biggest artist we have brought to U.Va. in recent memory, [and he] is consistently ranked as one of the hottest hip hop artists,” Oliverio said in an email statement.

The name of J.Cole’s third and most recent album, “2014 Forest Hills Drive”, is partially about Cole’s experience in his childhood home in Fayetteville, N.C.

“It is a meditation on the value of love relative to worldly success ...The narrative is a tale of Cole's and also serves as a series of metaphors that complete a story of passion, growth and ultimately reflection,” reads the press release from JPJ.

J. Cole made a debut in 2007 with his mixtape “The Come Up” and signed to record label Roc Nation. All three of his studio albums have reached number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 Chart.

PKG — a concert committee under UPC — focuses on bringing live music to University students.

PKG Director and third-year College student Henry Booth said in an email statement that J.Cole’s music offers a different narrative from club rap about “money, women and swagger” — which was popular in the mid-2000s.

“It’s now 2016, and the style of conscious rap based around clever lyricism, insightful [and] personal reflection, speaking out against social injustice and albums as means of telling a full story has made a resurgence,” Booth said. “J. Cole's ‘2014 Forest Hills Drive’ is an exemplary example of this.”

J.Cole will be joined in Aug. by Bas and Cozz — artists from Dreamville Records, which Cole himself founded.

“The significance of J. Cole coming to U.Va. is the opportunity to see an artist that is spearheading a movement reminiscent of the Golden Age of hip-hop,” Booth said. “It's an exciting time in the rap industry were 'aware' rappers such as Cole and Kendrick [Lamar] are able to have the same chart topping success as the likes of Future, Rae Sremmurd, Travis Scott and other party rap boys.”

Tickets for the upcoming concert have been available since Monday and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.com, the arena box office or by calling 1-888-JPJ-TIXS.

“[A] fun fact [is] this is a welcome back concert not just for students but for J. Cole as well; UPC actually brought J. Cole to UVA in 2011 to headline our annual Springfest concert,” Oliverio said.

Other events featured during the University’s Welcome Week include the traditional Rotunda Sing and Tom DeLuca’s annual hypnotism show. 

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